Failure to Launch or Soaring Solo – Pt. 4

Instilling Vision- Part Four

If you have more than one child you understand that each one of your children is unique and different. We have three children and each one of their personalities vary greatly. So the challenge for us parents is that just when you think you have your first child’s “bents” figured out, along comes your second child that requires you to start the process all over again. It never ceases to amaze me how two guys can come from the same family and be so completely different. I have already shared with you how I instilled vision into my oldest son TJ. Well here is what I did for his brother who was two years younger than TJ and the youngest of the family.

I would like to revisit the verse in Proverbs that I mentioned a couple of blogs ago. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” What I understand that phrase to mean is that every child has a “bent.” Every child has a unique disposition for how they see the world, and how they live, speak and engage in the world. Do you know your child well enough to know the actual structure of the wood? You don’t want to just cut across a grain; you want to be able to cut with the grain. So our task as parents is to become studiers and students of our children. One of the things I have done is to keep records of comments, thoughts, perspectives of our children, so that we can actually study and think about our kids and their unique bents. If you know the bent of your child and follow it as you train them, they will not depart from it. It’s not just about teaching them, it’s teaching them within the way that your child learns best and how they experience the world. I had 3 children and all 3 children had different learning styles. My daughter our first born is a visual learner. She just loves to read. My second born son TJ, is an auditory learner. He prefers to learn by listening to CD’s. My third born son Tyler was more of a hands on learner.

When my kids were young I read a very good book that helped me to discern their different learning styles: “The Way They Learn” By: Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. I know you might think I don’t have time to read books and study my kids, it’s important for you to know that UNDERSTANDING RELEASES GRACE. The better you UNDERSTAND your child the MORE GRACE you will have for them. Once I understood that the typical school setting which is geared towards those who are visual and audio learners did not work for my youngest child who was a hands on learner, I had MORE GRACE for him when his grades did not reflect his intelligence. I was also able to devise a plan of action to help him learn using his unique bent. I remember one time in particular when he was being faced with having to pass a history test that contained all kinds of dates that he would have to know. If he did not pass his final test, then he was going to have to retake the class. Understanding that he was a hands on learner I went up to “The School Box” and bought four sets of magnetic block numbers. As I read the historical events he would arrange the numbers into the correct date on the fridge using these block numbers. He got a B on that test. Tyler has always been very good with his hands. He is a very talented drummer. He can also play the keyboard, the bass guitar, electric guitar and a little violin. Tyler’s sister Amanda would sometimes suffer from headaches and Tyler was very good at massaging her head and back until her headache was gone. All these talents require you to be good with your hands. He has also excelled as a goalie thru out his whole life. Being a goalie also requires you to be very good with your hands as well as being able to respond quickly and accurately in intense emergency situations. So I thought that perhaps a firefighter or EMT might fit his personality. Tyler is my most compassionate child as well. He enjoys helping people. He was also a hands on learner as I already mentioned. So as I started thinking about Tyler and his unique giftings that God has given him, I began to contemplate what possible career choices that might fit his bent. Based on my study of Tyler, here are some of the possible career choices that I came up with. You will notice that many of them include the ability to be good with his hands. So here are the records that I kept on Tyler as I studied him throughout his growing up years.

Possible career options for Tyler:

1. Mechanic (He went and spent a day working with Colby who was his youth deacon when he was in 9th grade. Colby worked at a tire place.)
2. Firefighter: Physical and Heroic (See interview)
3. Plumber
4. Electrician (Interview with Robert’s stepsister Jessica’s husband.)
5. Builder (He really liked the building project he did while on the mission trip in New Orleans to help out the Hurricane Victims.) He also worked to help build Steve Ruplin’s house and loved it.
6. Inventor ( Word of prophecy)
7. Physical Therapist (Interview with Brad Ruger)
8. Chiropractor
9. Mortgage Writer (Interview with Brandon, Robert’s brother)
10. Financial Planner
11. Air Force
12. It would be good if Tyler volunteered for hurricane victims cutting trees etc. So that when he tells the person responsible for hiring him, they will be able to see that he really does enjoy helping people, because he has already been doing that his whole life. (Note: He did this Summer of 2008 when he went to New Orleans to help rebuild the homes.)
13. Possible volunteer opportunities: Special Olympics, Homeless shelter (He did spend 10 days rebuilding the houses for the victims of Hurricane Katrina July 6 -16, 2008)
14. Full Time Christian service: Missionary
15. Tyler could volunteer at Human Society shelter to help abandoned pets finds homes
16. Tyler already volunteered at the YMCA for the summer of 2006. He ran a clinic and volunteered his time as goalie since the team did not have any goalie. Be sure to mention this when he applies as firefighter. Or when applying for financial aid for scholarships for school.
17. Tyler donated 90 hours of his time to campaign for Dr. Cindy Coates who is running for State House in the 37th district of Ga.

Deciding what you will BE is more important than deciding what you will DO!

“Your character –the kind of person you are—will determine what kind of leader you will be in whatever career you choose.”

Perhaps Tyler could get people to pledge money for every mile that he rides in Brag. We could put it up on our website and people could put their pledge money there. Ask Lisa how much money she raised for her mission trip during brag.

I know how to influence others, I am a person of integrity, I am flexible and willing to go in new directions, I know how to prioritize, I am good at problem solving, I have the will power to do the right thing and I have a positive attitude. Why should I hire you? Because I have a good positive attitude and I am a winner. There may be others out there that are tougher, smarter, etc. But no one has a better attitude than me. It is my positive attitude in life that has gotten me through. The cup is always half full. If the wind is not blowing to my advantage, I know how to adjust the sails. I learned this through watching my mom. She is the most positive, flexible person I have ever known. Note: The ones in red are the interviews that he has already completed.

Below is the interview that he did with the Fire Fighter:

Interviewing Someone with Experience
in Your Chosen Career

Note: Tyler interviewed 4 men at Station 11 on September 6, 2006

Chandler was the name of one of the guys. His wife worked as a nurse.

An excellent way to learn more about an occupation is to talk with people who are doing the kinds of work you are investigating. Secure interviews with experienced people by calling them, introducing yourself and explaining that you’re seeking first hand information about their job or profession. Let them know you are not seeking employment but are just looking for good advice from a knowledgeable source.

Here are suggested questions to ask:

1. How long have you been a fireman? Two men had been there 7 years and 2 had been there for 10 years.

2. How did you decide to become a fireman?

1. Chandler: “I planned to be a fireman.”

2. An older gentleman: “I got tired of running a construction company.”

3. “I went to 2 years of college and I was trying to finish my degree, but it was too difficult trying to work here and go to school. I talked to my friend who encouraged me to take the test, so I decided on a whim to go and take the test and I got the job.”

4. Another man volunteered when he was 18.

3. What kinds of schooling/training were required? High School diploma. Beneficial if you have EMT (Emergency Medical Training) degree. You can get that in one year at Chattanooga. Tech. North Metro Tech. The “Hope Scholarship” will pay for it.

“If you can just take the test and get hired on it is better because you get paid while you are being trained. The training: 3 months. I know Marietta has an Explorer program, and I think Paulding County might have one too.”

4. How did you get your first job in this field? See answers in question # 2.

5. What do you like best about being a fireman? “The schedule of 24 on and 48 off. This allows you to work another job. (The money from your other job is your play money.) “Firemen work about ever other kind of job you can think of: Framers, Lawn care service, construction, real-estate agents.

“You have job security; you don’t have to worry about being fired. As long as there are stupid people doing stupid stuff, you will always have a job. 90% of the terminations (getting fired) come from off duty incidents: fighting, DUI, Drugs.

6. What do you like least about being a fireman? I have not found anything I don’t like about it. The smells are bad sometimes. If something is a very dramatic incident, the department will send us to a counselor to help us process the pain of the incident. Sometimes not being able to sleep a full night in days, and then having to go to your other job the next day. Lack of sleep.

7. How has this job changed since you got into it? “When I tested out they were testing 1,500 people and picking 25.

8. What is the most dangerous part of the job? “Interstate driving. People don’t stop. You can have your lights on, siren, they don’t care, they just keep going.”

9. What do you do during a typical day? Eat, sleep, and watch movies, talk, 85% of our calls are traffic related. The other 15% are brush fires, furnace fires. Sprinkler systems have pretty much put firefighters out of business. By the time we get there the sprinkler systems have already put out the fire.

10. What does a beginning fireman earn and how much can a person earn after ten years of experience? A beginning fireman earns $33,100.00, then you get a 5% pay raise every six months. Then an additional 2% raise. Some people work here strictly for the benefits. You are eligible to retire at age 50 if you start young, and go on to pursue other interest. “I’m making twice what I started at and I have only been here 7 years.” So he is making $66,000 in just 7 years. You can get raises by promotions too.

11. What are the intangible benefits of being a Fireman? Schedule/Benefits. “Job security, you really don’t get fired unless you do something stupid. 90% of the people who get fired are fired due to off hour incidents. DUI, drugs.

12. Apart from formal training, what kinds of experience should I try to get that would help me prepare to be a fireman? “Do well in school. EMT degree.”

13. What could I read that would help me learn more about being a fireman. (The guy who got tired of the corporate world read a book entitled: “Live A Life Not Just Make A Living.” That was instrumental in him going into fireman training.)

14. Where else could I look for more information about a career in this field?

Use additional sheets of paper to write more questions you want to ask.

Additional Notes:

They test about 250 people and out of those 250 they actually hire 25. They divide these people up into different brackets. Such as:

1. Bracket one is everyone who scored 98 – 100 on the written test. High test scores help but it is not necessary. You can still be hired even if you are not in the top bracket.
2. Anything below 70% is considered failing.
3. Bracket 2 is your background check: They will ask you for the names and numbers of your neighbors on both sides of you as well as in front and behind you and they call every one of them.
4. Bracket 3 is drug test: this is where they look for speeding tickets, DUI’s, drug test.
5. Chandler was actually in bracket two but moved up to bracket one because they lost some people on the background check in bracket one. So he ended up getting the job over those who scored higher than him on the test, because his background was cleaner then those in bracket one.

The test itself is pretty basic. They give you a paragraph to read and then ask you questions about it. The math is pretty basic, it has some algebra on it. The majority of the test is to determine whether you are a team player. They ask you some physiological questions; they give you a situation and ask you what you would do in it. There are questions that decide whether you are a team player or not.

The guy I interviewed asked one question, “Why do you want to work, here?” “Because I want to help people. Because I don’t just want to work to make a living, I want to live a life with meaning and purpose. Because I will get to help people in their hour that they need it most. If I can help someone it will add meaning to my life, and enrich their life as well. I feel that my personality is well suited for this career. I have been part of a team for the past 13 years of my life, as I played as a goalie for a hockey team, and I know what it takes to make a winning team. I have been part of a team that went to the “Jr. Olympics” and took 3rd place out of 42 teams. I know what a winning team takes: Chemistry, Competence and Character and I know I am competent and I have Character, and I would like to prove to you that my personality will prove to be an asset to the chemistry of the team.”

You are on probation the first 18 months you are there. If you are tardy 3 times you are automatically fired. If you mess up, the government can automatically fire you for “no cause.” Meaning you cannot go before the board and contest your firing. If you fail a drug test you are out. They randomly choose people to be tested, if you are not there for your drug test within 3 hours you are fired.

Additional Comments: “Everyone loves us. No one likes the cops, but when we get there everyone loves us.” Note: Tyler wants people to like him, and he wants respect.

“Wade Green Station #27, ran 5,000 calls the first year it was opened. You can’t eat, sleep, nothing it is constant. Our station runs about 1,800 calls a year, which is 7 -12 calls a week.” They are opening a new station on 41. They bought the land and it will be opening within 2 years.”

“Paramedics are the only ones that get a choice as to which station they go to.”

People travel from all over to work in Cobb County. We have people that travel from Alabama, N. Carolina. obb County is a great place to work. It is hard to get in at Cobb. Cherokee County requires you to volunteer first.

“We have a “first response” team that makes more money.”

“Our fire chief is a woman.”

My recap of Tyler’s notes:

Career Planning for Tyler:


Can apply at age 18! Must pass physical, obstacle course, drug test, lie detector test! If the county chooses you and decides to train you they pay for everything. “If you can drive to work in your underwear then the county pays for everything else.”

County pays for your schooling which is 16 weeks. After the 16 weeks of schooling you are an EMT. Your starting pay is $34,000.00. If you want to advance you can go back to school to become a paramedic for another 16 weeks, which gives you a 10% pay increase, which would move you to: $37,400.00. Then you can advance again by going to school to get your training in hazardous material which gives you another pay increase. This moves you to $41,000.00. You can also move up by rankings. Like the guy I talked to was a Sargent. You max out as a Fireman at about $100,000.00.

The thing he liked about his job was the hours. You work 24 hours and are off 48 hours. So if you want to do nothing on those days you are off you can, or if you want to go out and get another job to supplement your income you can easily do that also.

They had a hard time coming up with anything that they did not like about their job, but you are working with sick and injured people. Everyone has a soft spot in their heart somewhere, for me it is kids. But if you like your job then the hard stuff really does not matter. It might bother you at first, but after a while you get used to it.

Why I think this might be a good career for Tyler: Tyler is a big picture person. He does well in intense situations, such as goalie. Tyler is not a detail person, but can really get a job done when the goal is well defined, such as putting out a fire or helping someone who has been in an accident. Since the county pays everything he could come out in 16 weeks making as much or more ($34,000.00) than what some college graduates make, without college debt. So by age 19 he would be making enough to support himself and live on his own. Another reason I think this career would fit Tyler is because it is very physical. You must be in good physical shape to pass the obstacle course. At one point Tyler was attracted to the Military. I have never had a peace about this line of work for him, due to the low pay and the negative influences and being demoralized by some boot camp guy. However, being able to move up in rankings, such as sergeants etc., I think would have an appeal to Tyler once again because the goal is well defined.

How to prepare for this career. Don’t make any stupid mistakes in your teen years. Keep your nose clean. You have to pass drug tests, background tests and lie detector tests.


About Professional Parenting

Wife, mother, motivational speaker, author, counselor and teacher. I have 3 adult children and a husband of 27 years. For the past 13 years I have served the youth and their parents at Liberty Church in Marietta Georgia. I loved everything about being a mom: I loved the terrible twos, and the terrifying teens, and the cake in my hair, and the spilled punch. I loved the chaos, the noise, the craziness of tons of kids. It was everything I wanted in my life. I loved that constant overwhelming feeling of someone being completely dependent on me as well as that joyful, aweful feeling of watching that same someone just 18 years later leave me and go off in the world on their own. Interests: * Christian * wife * mom * child training * pre-teens * teenagers * youth group * young girls * young women * seasoned sisters Favorite Books: * "Praying for Your Adult Children" By: Stormie Omartian * "Life on the Edge" By Dr. Dobson (Note: This was required reading for my kids when they turned 13.)
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